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High Court notice to Centre on telecos’ plea for licence extension

Department of Telecommunications is hereby asked to file responses before August 29.

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Published: May 14, 2013 3:47:12 pm

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to the Centre on separate petitions of telecom operators–Vodafone,Airtel and Loop Mobile–against DoT’s decision not to extend their 2G licences beyond November 2014 on existing terms.

“DoT (Department of Telecommunications) is hereby asked to file responses before August 29. Put up (the case) for hearing on August 29,” justice Rajiv Shakdhar said.

Vodafone India had moved the court challenging the telecom department’s refusal last month to renew its licences for the Delhi,Mumbai and Kolkata circles.

Vodafone has around 24 Mhz of spectrum in these three circles for which licences were given in 1994 for a period of 20 years. These licences expire in November 2014.

Simultaneously,Bharti Airtel and Loop Mobile also moved the court against the DoT’s decision on the issue.

Airtel wants its licences to be extended in Delhi and Kolkata while Loop Mobile wants them to continue in Mumbai.

Rejecting the plea of telecom operators for extension of the licences,DoT has said that the spectrum will not be bundled with the licences and the telecom firms will have to apply afresh.

It has also said that the firms will have to pay as per the existing market rates.

However,the telecom operators want their licences to be extended as per the earlier mutually agreed terms.

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